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Mandy Patinkin racks up mensch points with ‘Princess Bride’ reply to emotional TikTok

An older woman and man pose in front of a black backdrop
Actor Mandy Patinkin and wife Kathryn Grody arrive at a 2018 premiere.
(Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic)

Inigo Montoya continues to be a hero, 34 years after the release of the movie “The Princess Bride.”

Mandy Patinkin, who famously portrayed the sword-fighting Spaniard on a quest to avenge his father in Rob Reiner’s 1987 classic, was tagged by thousands of TikTok users in the hopes he would see a video by user @Alaska_Webb (real name: Amanda Webb). In Webb’s emotional video, she said her father, who died of cancer in March, was a big “Princess Bride” fan.

“Inigo Montoya was his favorite character in the film, played by the wonderful Mandy Patinkin,” she said, smiling. She said she had encountered a nugget online about the confrontation between Inigo and the villainous, six-fingered Count Rugen (Christopher Guest), who had killed Inigo’s father. She quoted Rugen’s desperate offer of “Anything you want” and Inigo’s answer, I want my father back, you son of a bitch,” as she choked up in the video.

In a response video shot by Patinkin’s son, Gideon Grody-Patinkin, and posted to TikTok and Twitter, Patinkin and his wife, Kathryn Grody (whose off-the-cuff videos with the actor have been winning the internet throughout the pandemic), also choked up as they watched that moment in the TikTok.

“I saw on the internet the rumor that when Mandy Patinkin said that line, he was thinking of his own father, who had passed away from cancer and it was a very raw emotion,” said Webb, crying. “Ever since then, it’s kind of really stuck with me. So I guess I just wanted to know if that is a true thing, if it’s a real thing ...

“I was just curious because it means so much more to me now than it ever did. If this ever does reach Mandy Patinkin, just thank you so much for your performance in that movie because it meant so much to me and my dad.”

In the response video, Patinkin asked if he could talk to Webb.

“You’re talking to her right now,” his son said.

So Patinkin said to the camera, “First of all, your dad is taking care of you. Secondly, [the story] is true, 100% true. I went outside in this castle and walked around [the hedge maze] and I kept talking to my dad, and I said, ‘Dad, I’m gonna get this guy.’

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“From the minute I read the script ... I said, I’m gonna do this part because in my mind if I get this six-fingered guy, that means I killed the cancer that killed my dad, and I’ll get to visit my dad.”

He choked up, but got out the words, “That moment was coming, and when I played that scene with Chris ... then I went back out there and talked to my dad. And so you can talk to your dad any time you want, anywhere you want.”

Grody then referred Webb to the Dinner Party, a “platform for grieving 20- and 30-somethings to find peer community and build lasting relationships.” Grody said she and Patinkin learned about the site because their daughter-in-law “lost her mom when she was 20 and didn’t know young people who had gone through that particular kind of grief. And you can find people who can understand what you’re going through and can help you.”

Patinkin asked if Webb could get her father’s name to him, “ ‘cause I say prayers for everyone I’ve ever known, and now I feel like I know you and therefore I know your dad, and I will list his name in my prayers every day. And they make me feel like they’re with me everywhere I go, and I’d like your dad to hang out with me.”

Patinkin expanded on his thoughts in a Twitter thread. He quoted Oscar Hammerstein’s book for the musical “Carousel”: “As long as there’s one person on Earth who remembers you, it isn’t over,” writing: “That’s part of why I like saying peoples names in my prayers and why I’ll add your dad’s name.”

The family added another video to the thread in which Patinkin ribbed Grody for not knowing the full “I want my father back” line by heart: “It’s however you remember it,” he said to her as they laughed.

Webb posted another TikTok, reacting to Patinkin’s reaction, his Twitter thread and the attention around her original video. At first, she was flustered and overwhelmed. Then she gathered herself: “If [my dad] knew right now what was happening,” she said, laughing, “he would go, ‘Uh s—, girlie, that’s pretty cool.’”

She laughed some more and said, “I am beside myself. I am schvitzing ... Thank you. Thank you.” Then her dog jumped up to give her kisses.

Patinkin concluded the original Tik Tok/Twitter video by saying to Webb, “I’ve had a number of gifts that I never imagined that came from the gift that keeps on giving called ‘The Princess Bride,’ but you took the cake.”


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